There’s one genre that this excellent video from Video game Maker’s Toolkit does not attend to, which’s sports, however in MLB The Program and NBA 2K particularly, I can speak with the overall getting-screwed frame of mind of sensation like I’m getting beaten by a random number generator. That’s called output randomness, and Mark Brown does a terrific task discussing it, and its brother or sister input randomness, in this video.
More significantly to us, he describes how they impact our (players’) sensations of fairness. Output randomness is best described as having an 87%possibility to strike in XCOM and in some way whiffing the shot entirely.
Brown observes that the best XCOM players are the ones who have strong backup plans, for when that can’t- miss out on flanking shot really does. A bad result from output randomness can, in effect, end up being helpful input randomness for the player’s next turn.
Input randomness is basically info before the action: the draw of cards prior to a turn, or the production of a procedurally created map. That provides the player something to strategize versus, and for sure it seems like a fairer way to manage an aspect as required to video games as randomness.
Subset Games provided FTL: Faster Than Light in 2012, and it’s a video game packed with output randomness. Still, it was popular and enjoyable. However when Subset returned for its 2nd act 6 years later, 2018’s similarly enjoyable Into the Breach, it was all input randomness– undoubtedly, players understand most whatever about what the opponent depends on before making their choice. That was a purposeful design choice, stated Subset’s Justin Ma.
Well, except for this: There’s one element of output randomness in Into the Breach, and that is in the gamer’s built-in defense system, which can roll the dice and save their skin, entirely at random. And that’s because, as Ma observed, no one ever complains about output randomness that breaks in their favor.
In all, Game Maker’s Toolkit delivers another completely informing and informing look at something that normally appears so nontransparent and/or unjust to gamers– certainly, developers often goose their background calculations just to comport with gamers’ incorrect ideas of how chances actually work. Next time you think your game’s screwing you over, refer back to this video.